Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Great Turning

· Could it be that we are in the initial phases of collective recognition sensing that a certain dimension of history is coming to its reckoning wheel very rapidly and despite all the advantages of post Enlightenment thought we just are not prepared for the horrific crossing ground just ahead of us- and that this historic turning point will involve immense human suffring? The following political structures once assured group survival as we moved from our ancestral hunting and gathering nomadic lives to sedentary agricultural states a mere 8,00 years ago: the walled city state, the tribal identity,the religious sect, the kingdom,the nation state- the empire, the civilization. These are all the various applications of Hamlet's "Elsinore Castle" in a way ie., something separate, some walled in and safe entity- it does not matter whether or not it is a physical wall or boundary, an ideological, linguistic, racial, tribal, religious- it's all the same. The esential concept is one that draws a sharp distinction between groups, between local identity and the "other." This grouping mechansnism has developed into various schemes of citizen virtue where belonging codes of behavior all bound up in creative written and spoken and art directed codes that work to set one group from another and establish the belonging alegiance- holy books and cultural narrative epoch poetry began to seal the great traditions along mythical lines and "chosen people" exceptionalism began to develop. Thisa all led more or less to exponential population growth which is the underlying evolutionary imperative for all biological populations. We are a biological population and we have been fantastically successful after nearly going extinct some 100,000 years ago.More of the species would now survive and more food could be secured through specialization and labor division. By the sheer identity to all these belonging posts human populations soared. These distinctions once may have been necessary groupings protecting our local interests and food supply. Now things are beginning to change as all the great advances in efficiency, especiallty since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution begin to work against species survival. This is the Great Turning I refer to. All these city /state entities no longer can claim such evolutionary necessity in the greater struggle of nature and nature's limits we now face . We are beginning to hit a wall and we are arguing as if its this or that ideology that will deliver us safely over this wall. It is an irreducible predicament at this point whose consequences will be dictated by its own harsh terms. We are beginning to turn into a horrific storm. Just in the early stages of this great turning where none of these entities provide safety and security anymore; in fact the edicts of state and the established orthodoxies now work against the survival imperative. This is why the new geography will not be a mountain range, a river, an ocean or a boundary won by some venturing marauder hailing from this fatherland or that, or some exploitative vestige of colonial resource management, but the entire enveloping placenta of the atmosphere that is a veiled penumbra of the very stuff of life itself. When this seeming evanescence is seen as our collective boundary, our alchemy of life, our small green Elsinore in the infinitude of the abyss, then this will be the ultimate belonging to strive for. Note on the passing of Neil Armstrong: If we could all see the world as Armstrong and Aldrin did and learn that salvation can come in just 1 single earthrise, we might then hasten this horrific turning so that fewer will suffer the crossing to the far shore.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

On Free Will

· Prelude caveat
: To the best of my knowledge (a rangy ken of bits)- I am of a faith that the following essay,in every punctuation and point of grammar, is of my sole creation. I placed certain words in an arranged fashion not aware that perhaps another force may have compelled my every choice, so that you, the reader, may have some modicum of understanding on my notions of "Free Will". The alphabet I used was not of my creation, however, nor the lingusitic rules of English grammar and syntax employed which formed these variois symbols into a tranferrable coherency to you- I hope it will be coherent anyway. So , in this sense, certain constraints are already inherent in a language i did not construct from scratch. So in this sense my articulated thoughts are not entirely original as i am bound by these constraints;else in total free abandon my sentences might appear like this: &$#(*^@!O(BNJ13689#@)*88~ ~ ~ ~ %^)**@T^IO)(>MMMM()(*&*#$^^^^.. I will admit that such glyphs like this do flit about in my mind from time to time like hai lai balls bouncing from one cranial wall to another.... but this is neither here nor there to you, the reader, as your hai lai balls may be as strange and unintelligible to me. basta! As just stated,I am not aware of any other force or agent outside my own origins that sets down these letters and words. Perhaps there are angels or demons lurking in my synapses that pull levers and tweak dendritic filligrees in all their networking overlaps, but there is no evidence to this as far as I know. So, I will avail myself to the full responsibility of the following words and do so now begin w/ a full and unfettered sense of Free Will begin my assail on this notion that we do not have it. This ended up as the long answer to my wife's fb post on the various frictions that can develop when certain free wills struggle to find the rules of engagement in convergence. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ I would love to give a short answer here, sweets, one that might humor you as i imagine that's what you are hoping for from other ether connections that exist more as hologrphs in our imaginations here on "spacebook" though they too are of flesh and bone somewhere. However, we share the same physical space and are in each other’s lives like no other connection in terms of intimacy and physical proximity, so I will take this opportunity to elaborate on this topic since issues of free will and the tussles it puts us through as a couple, is far more important than the ancient question as to whether it (free will) exists or not. So, because i move from my own "free will" (perceived anyway) with this open space in the comment box stretching below me, please allow some sat. morning ruminations as i have thought about "free will" since i was in 3'rd grade where sister marie hugh filled my liitle brain w/ concepts like “original sin,” “free will” and “ always was and always will be”... thus began my own odyssey of thought about this strange world of "consciousness" and "being" and awareness that by some fiat I came into .. it began this short journey where I see myself as a little cupped leaf of sentience floating on a great river whose free will I can say or do nothing about beyond the rim of my little cupped leaf; this float about becoming more and more of an adventure in unknowing wonder and cluelessness the older I get…. The reason we still debate this notion of "fee will," I think, is because ancient philosophers came up with this notion that in a world composed by a creator (first assumption) every blade of grass and wisp of wind had to be orchestrated by the creator right down to the last trivial thing- including all our thoughts and actions... that nothing can be or act independent according to its "being" w/out its connection to that which created it. This debate has therefore been strained through countless eras and religions in history and is always colored by the context of the times and the religious society it currently is discussed in. Descartes tried to squeeze it into Christian morality and so it got a whole new head of steam after Augustine wrestled his own lions in his own circus maximus of the 4’th century. It morphs and wends and moves through various labyrinths in the convolutions of this or that human brain that finds these questions worthwhile to ponder. Billions upon billions of human beings have not found this question to be one necessary to wrestle with and so after a few rounds of eternal return, I too have discarded the quest of the holy grail as to whether or not I have free will. All I “know” is that the last sentence composed appeared to come from my own original thought processes, and that’s all that matters. For me it is a moot exercise in thought that we have assumed is a necessary pursuit because great Christian philosophers such as St.Augustine made it an occupation of theirs and in lofty prose spent many thousands of words in pursuit of an answer that will always remain elusive. I do not buy the original premise that we should even ask ourselves if we have "free will" because the very question itself utilizes free will, and therefore the question for me is not even important,, though reading some of the translations of St. Augustine is a sublime experience, I think he spent a lot of mental activity in things that just fulfilled mental activity for its own sake. Just like the things our little minds spend so much time on in this context in the early 21’st century, may be seen as superfluous and silly a thousand years hence if people are still contemplating philosophically the nature of thought. To each and every one of us, the perception that we control our thoughts and actions far outweighs some greater philosophical wrestling point construed in the thinking chambers of men who deal in these esoteric frames of thought. If we have the perception that a thought or action is ours, then it is ours and it does not matter if some unseen or unknown hand manipulates the marionette's strings from above. And that’s all I have to say about that and will not pass much thought again on this topic . Thnx for the cause / effect catalyst , Sweets

Monday, January 09, 2012

First Winter's Snow On Freedom Plaza

As the first snows of D.C. winter swirled around the capless head of Chris Hedges and settled on the sweatered shoulders and hats of the well-bundled small gathering who came to Freedom Plaza in D.C. to hear him speak earlier today, a strange awareness enveloped me. Coming into Freedom Plaza, this little wedge of Park land where Occupy DC has been located for over three months right next to the State Department, I could not help but be moved to take in the odd yet beautifully dissonant juxtapositions of my surroundings... Right next to the busy 6 lane traffic Pennsylvania Ave., where cars and buses and police vans and government vehicles whizzed by just blocks from the White House stood this little village of pitched tents all multicolored in a loosely arranged yet ordered encampment with their flags and banners and tent flaps blowing in the wind in the shadow of the august buildings of empire with their staunch columns supporting pediments with boldly emblazoned friezes.

We’d come to hear Hedges profess about the great protest movements and civil actions of the past, of the late Vaclav Havel and the siege of Sarajevo, the falling of the Berlin Wall, and the cleansing tears that fell during the stirring refrains from the many hymns of freedom he witnessed and took part in these past 25 years - and how this one, this Occupy movement, needs to burden itself in full measure, and more, with all that was right and good about those movements because so much more is at stake now in the grand scale of things.

Here, near ground zero of the most powerful empire ever known to mankind, in the towering shadows of these massive edifices of government, as first winter’s flurries swirled around this seed cluster of a nascent movement, this huddled band of early civil actors in their tented little village listened to a man of average height, but of towering intellect, knowledge and most important, ethical grounding, tell us about the wellsprings of past democratic movements and why we should be encouraged to take heart and mind from these past acts of civil conscience. What were these movements of the late 19th and early 20th century and what were the forces that quelled those movements after WW1 and has anesthetized the thinking blood of this democracy for generations since. Why was this important to our undertaking now?

Was he, were we, huddled together in the cold there, with streamers flying from tent poles and posters all around this hoveled collection of fragile dwellings with a library, a cooking tent, a press tent, an information tent--a multi-colored reinforced nylon weave-tented village not 200 feet from where, behind the glass and Venetian-blinded cubicles, decisions of grave import to empire were being made at the Department of State….. were we serving any real purpose here?

Whose affairs of state have more import at this moment, I asked myself? Here we have these two disparate groups who are actively taking their respective parts in the affairs of state, one in heated rooms 40 feet above street level just across at the Department of State, with all its colonnaded Doric pillars topped by august pediments with their inscripted nostrums and friezes, the other outside on cold granite nearest bare earth, taking on the affairs of the governed as they talked about past songs of freedom and new heresies of the established churches, and how we must take up the old refrains and compose new ones for the work ahead while the whipping of tent flaps somehow graced the solemnity, or perhaps mocked the absurdity of it all? Can there be any more poignant dissonance than this apparent guiding of the affairs of men and women? Are we the dreamers? Is Hedges just the soft voice of a modern St Francis, or, like St Francis, does he remember the acute torpors of wars, jihads and terror and for this should we reserve our right to give him this small bully pulpit called, in silly script, “the soap box”, which he did not ascend, mind you—to speak from his crucibled experience?

Are we just a small huddled group (40 souls maybe) the fervent misguided, who hold evanescent dreams of a possible becoming by believing the human condition is perfectible from its present state, or at least if not perfectible in extremis, then perhaps improvable? In listening to Mr. Hedges’ inspiring narrative, are we just eluding ourselves listening to a well-informed and traveled troubadour/poet of a war correspondent, this modern apostle of the living gospel defrocked of all its cultural institutionalized religious gloss close to the bone- in this case hard on the granite panels of Freedom Plaza- affirming his seminal belief in the Gospel’s beatitudes and what they may hold for this occupation of conscience?

How noble is the plaintive spirit, mine, all of ours I chanced. Here and now wondering from this tented village pitched on the hard granite of empire whether or not our aspirations are more tempered with the reasoned hope that the good change is possible or are these aspirations just infused with the follies of groundless enthusiasms. I thought of those who know that any change worth its salt must be earned along the hard lines of seeming insurmountable obstacles in the face of almost impossible odds. At 57, this was the first time I would ever come to occupy my own conscious on such matters. I wondered about others in the little group. Hedges has earned the right to speak from his unmounted soap box. Yes. But do I have enough breadth to hear him and take guidance from his narrative?

Can the good germ, the People’s germ, hardy, yet still so few, eventually come to negotiate its fervent terms with the Colossus of empire? Is this even possible? Am I just part of a great dream that will remain just that or are these the daunting start up days that try men’s souls in the early offing where bonds are forged one to another and each to his/her own dictates of conscience, each occupying their own inner space before taking to the public commons. Am I, are we just such things dreams are made of that remain unrequited to reality? Will all these multi colored tents with their diverse signatures of freedom just fade away? Who will ever remember the name Chris Hedges in 30 years time, I ask myself? Will some troubadour or poet or historian yet unborn utter his name or other names like Zeese or Wolf or Scott Olsen, McKibben or Piven sometime whence when history finally embraces which affairs of state were of more import on this blustery, cold winter day: Will all these best laid plans just go away?

Somehow though, these question seemed to anoint in me the earning distance that would be necessary in order to gain the good and there, swirling in the flurries of first winter’s snow gathering on the shoulders of the tented villagers and on the scarf of Chris Hedges, I sensed an American Spring rising.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

To all "Occupiers Far and Wide, Present and Past"

..... In asking ourselves about the history of various "occupations" through this country's past, can there be a fair question that asks whether or not corporate wealth and narrow moneyed interests have preoccupied what is the very best of this democracy over the last 30 years? And maybe, just maybe what we see now at the various occupations across the country is just a waking up of sorts, finally hearing the tolling bells on the village greens and commons that have been stilled for so long...

...... In the present tolling of bells I also hear the occupiers of the past and it is to them that I want to pay a little tribute at year's end, a year where TIME magazine has made the"Protester" its banner person of the year.So, here's to all those who occupied in foreign or domestic wars, so that we at home might have the chance at keeping freedom's vigil. To those who revolted against monarchical rule after occupying their own consciences and deciding that taxation w/out representation was reason enough to risk their lives, thus through this sacred protest as enshrined in the Declaration Of Independence, did they take up their cause and birth this country

......To all those who occupied their conscience and committed themselves to the work of building and keeping the underground railroad or making their last stands at Harper's Ferry because they knew that slavery was a terrible bliight on humanity and that it must end. To all those in the great Prairie Revolt of the 1890's where farmers and settlers rose up against large corporate, moneyed interests and whose demands were finally met 30 years after their revolt was put down..... To the great feminists traditions and to their will to bring more compassion and care into state affairs and to women's suffrage. To the movements in the 30's and to FDR that great "occupier of his own conscience" and a "Traitor To His Class" (book) that helped the common man.

To all those at home and abroad who fought fascism and prevailed in WWII do I thank your occupations of conscience to take up arms and to your willingness to risk all for the yet unborn among us who now understand the full measure of your devotion and have not had to hail any fuhrer since then .... to all the great occupiers of conscience who changed this society so much for the better in the great Civil Rights movements. To all occupiers in all wars, who for better or worse, believed that they were sacrificing for the just causes of freedom. For my uncle David Kaul, who I am named after, who died on his 18'th birthday in Korea, not so sure about the causes that brought him there but willing to commit the last full measure of his devotion do I pay tribute and respect. To my father, a soldier in WWII, who flew over the hump of the Himalayas many times,( risking his life each time) into China to train the Chinese troops against the Japanese and was awarded a medal by "Vinegar Joe" Stillwell, and who may nearly have died from yellow fever do I pay my tribute. To his "occupation of conscience" that the right was done and that sacrifice is sometimes necessary.

This is my tribute to all occupiers of conscience now, in the past and in the future wherever they may be who have ever taken themselves to task for whatever reason they felt/now feel necessary so that the better good might be served by acting upon the dictates of their occupied conscience..

to Imagine something better than what is is a Thanksgiving...

‎.. to little Eaarta Gaia and thoughts of Thanksgiving spun from wind, sand and stars
A Grinch's Return to the Ghost of the Future.

2008 represents the beginning of the Great Change. We hit the world growth limit wall in 08. Many economic growth charts support this evidence. Given the current world population (7 billion) available resources and the fossil fuel sourced economies delivering those resources, we have hit a terminus of resistance that begins, at best, a flat growth sustained economy- in the beginning at least..
It has been an explicit and implicit expectation, especially since the 1980's, that the future is larger than the present and the past is smaller than the present.

That concept is now history...... into the distant foreseeable future anyway..

It is the realization of this historic moment that will cause most of the strife over the next 50 years. Before the Great Change begins in earnest, a correction period will ensue, and that process began in 2008. This correction period will mean great suffering for many, many millions, perhaps billions of people. This has already begun and will escalate over the next decade. Welcome to the future we warned our grandchildren about, folks! It's arrived a century earlier than expected.
Government cost related to GDP

So, are we headed toward a socialist state run by the proletariat when government costs go from 20 to 25% of Gross Domestic Product? Randians and Laffer curve trickle downers will have you believing so and this has been a persistent and relentless theme of theirs since the Reagan years. GDP needs to be compared to trade disparities as well as unemployment, welfare, food stamps and other social programs during a depressed economy to establish the real figures on government size in relation to the gross figure of the national product.As just one measure, when GDP is stagnant due to a depressed economy, then government costs will naturally rise in relation to it.

A much better metric to evaluate income inequality would be to establish hard money figures coming from the corporate, finance, and multinational sectors as these dollars relate to legislative, judiciary and executive impacts, especially the tax code and social programs.

Just for the sake of a hypothetical, let's say that in 1965, 2 billion dollars was contributed from big bizz and corporate in legislative lobbies, campaign finance, getting Johnson out and Nixon in etc,. How would that figure relate to the cost of government,The Great Society programs and the common good of most of the people?

say, just for argument, that 1% of GDP came from the most moneyed and special interest sector then. How would social programs for the common good for most of the people be affected if, say 3% of GDP was funneled into all branches of government.

That's essentially what has happened. It has been a mergers and aquisitions campaign by the Randians over the last 30 years since Reagan. More money and thus more power and influence has been exerted all across government. Not only government, but, more importantly in some ways, the media too. The return on investment ratio is very high when the legislators write the tax codes that have billionaires paying 1% on their earnings.

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Revival of the Code Duello?

It used to be by the Code Duello that many in Congress solved their differences. And it was the governed who really suffered the most while foolish men of false chivalrous honor shot each other. Hamilton comes to mind. Jackson comes to mind.The code should perhaps be revived , however, as our modern legislators fail the people by mass bipartisan code duellos nowdays anyway. The difference being that real bullets are not used anymore. Hence the gridlock.
No, the legislative gridlock today is as if all 435 members of Congress, the President and the Supreme Courtesans have all gone over to Wehawken Island, NJ, and taken up respective positions at close quarters across a field and have released fusillade after fusillade after fusillade of invective, acrimony, character assassination, obfuscation, lies and propagandic manipulations at each other w/ the rising smoke enveloping the entire mess in a haze of blind, aimless inaction. And we the governed are left holding the pistol boxes over and over again.
It's a shame they're all left standing after the smoke rises on any given issue. Where are we on budget deficits, education, Medicare and Medicaid and social security and bills on limiting the power of wealthy special interests?
One thing's for sure: Hamilton died the next day after his duel w/ Burr; but they did solve a problem in an expedited manner that morning and that was that Burr was a dangerous traitor who was never really heard from again in history. We do have Hamilton to thank for this. In this sense Hamilton's expedited code duello, and his sacrifice, may have saved the country from a sure road to perdition had Burr ever become president. Maybe something good can be said about this draconian rite from the era gone by- an era of romantic chivalry. God knows the standard practices by which our legislators hear and act upon the voice of the people today in "modern times" has clearly failed the governed.
Dissent and the Patriot's Dream

Interesting and poignant and perhaps something uniquely telling in the American character that finds us viewing this OWS movement from such opposing perspectives.... yet both of us honor our respective dad's service and each of us might invoke what our fathers did in foreign wars to support the rights of this man to speak his mind -though you may view him an anti-patriot and me see him serving the spirit of answering Kennedy's asking by serving his country in dissent. One of the fiercest dissenters I met this summer when we both chose to be arrested at the White House was a decorated WWII vet, now a PHd who fought the Germans crossing the Rhine on the way to Berlin. Was his dissent against the the policies on climate change or oligarchic seizure of the 3 branches of government now seen as anti-patriot and in a different light than his sacrifice as a soldier?

Was mine because I chose to take part in a civil action answering to the dictates of my own conscience? Am I asking for a special entitlement or treatment,Tim? the country was founded upon dissent. Its life blood has always and only been instilled or reclaimed by dissent. The very first seminal American document was itself a protest manifesto called The “Declaration Of Independence" They keep this enshrined document in the National Archives. And this founding document was a direct revolt against wealthy interests. Just like today really. It's just that the suppression today comes in the form of a calculated mollification campaign where we are numbed, dumbed, and thumbed down unaware that the process of usurping is even happening..... and to a large extent those who are numbing and thumbing us down are not even aware that it is happening. It's only business you see and when a whole society subscribes to"it's only business" then we've lost our center, the center can not hold as WB Yeats might say. It's only business grants philosophical license to the Kochs of the world to increase their wealth from 7 billion in 2007 to 50 billion today- the exact same time frame during which the middle classes lost trillions of dollars. Can't you see how much it has changed since we were kids?

The suppression of a preponderantly powerful and wealthy monarchy was the cause for the separation then, and it is those same forces transposed and moved forward 230 years and coming from within that threaten now.... . It was easier then, because we had geography, an ocean, and nearly 200 years of " the separation" and the distinction and the identity of becoming " Americans" , agriculturalist, manifest destinians, settlers and stump pullers and cabin builders..... we earned the right to develop our own American identity.

Not only across a big water, but across a widening breadth of new notions on autonomous government based on for and by the people,,,, Jefferson and Adams and Paine and Franklin all agreed that John Locke would be their standard bearer and the wild notion that maybe democracy and true republican governance just might work.... again. .. a long time had passed since the 4'th century AD when Rome finally fell.. Can't you see how all this is history in redux, except that it is not monarchical rule anymore, It is a nexus of massive multi national corporate driven madness that are the usurpers now. They are the new radical insurrectionists. They aim to merge their narrow interests w/ the 3 branches of government and they answer to no ideology except one. And by now that one raison d'etre does not even need to be stated.

I'll tell you what I feel. This movement is not a revolution at all, it is a reclamation, preservation and re-instatement movement, and though you clearly interpret Kennedy's appeal , "ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country" above as an admonishment to this man's gripe in the above clip, it can just as cleanly be reversed to mean that he, like our folks, and like many military vets from Viet Nam and Iraq and Korea and Afghanistan I have talked to at a number of OWS assemblies, believe this man, in his dissent, misguided or not, is answering to the call of his country too in his own way. I may not champion his views on socialism and surely not anarchism, but whole heartily support him when he says something has gone terribly, terribly wrong..... and if you don't see it, Tim... if you don't see that something has gone fatally wrong with this democracy and millions of other Americans don’t see it either, I really do tremble for the fate of this country....

Anarchism? Socialism? nah, these are just tag along upstart vents of anger--- just first pass gripes that the legislative, executive and judicial branches and the 2 party system have failed the people. Party politics had been warned against vehemently by our early founders, especially Adams, and party politics is part of what is tearing it apart now. Ideologies and labels and propaganda brands and witch hunted purges to route out the traitors among us because their ideas dare to dissent from the staus quo-- this is what will tear this country apart and is doing it right now. If we are to get through this we should suspend and or neutralize both parties for they both have failed the governed from which they have derived their power and from whom they have deserted their duties. And why? It's only business don't you see? It's only a fair and inalienable free enterprise right granted in the US Constitution for the risers to the top, the corporate brahmans to be able to put together strategies of mergrs and aquisitions of all three branches of government. Tell me, how is it that a "Supreme Court " could ever, ever grant the status of an "individul" to a Corporate entity? As a citizen accorded all the right s and privelege of a citizen, but not the obligations or penalties should this individual/entity break the law? If a corporation committs atrocities like dumping toxic wastes near poor comunities where Indigenous people live for example, and many people die from cancers that have never been seen in their blood lines, and it can be traced w/out a doubt that these cancers are a direct result of the toxic` wastes dumped near these communities, might this individual entity, accorded the same right as an "individual" now be charged with 2'nd degree or even 1'st degree muder as any individual would acting w/ malice and forethought. Might this "individual entity" granted equal ststus by our Supreme Courtesans, now be tried by a jury of its peers, found guilty, and sentenced to death? If we execute individuals who murder, why not entire corporations who murder? The logic arcs out to conclusions that are fraught w/ ad absurdums and only belies just how far the democracy has come in morphing into something else yet retaining the same brand name " Democracy." It's only business, folks, doncha see? the This will die down and round out to reestablish the core --- elements that should not be seen to represent the overall aims- nor should this man's cherry picked somewhat incoherent screed be used to represent the entire movement.

Tim, some of my people were here long before the Revolution .USS Grant and John Hancock and a secretary to Washinton and a spy for tracking general Braddock's troop movement (a woman no less) , Commadore Joseph Pratt, a privateer who commanded the great 3 masted schooner, Grand Turk…and people who founded the American renaissance in literature w/ Thorerau and Emmerson et all... all in my blood line.

And you know what really saddens me after nearly 40 years in the study of history? That really intelligent people, people who I respect, people who have lived in the US over the last 30 years, do not sense the slow, creeping, insidious hollowing out of this democracy by a very narrow band of very wealthy interests, and these people call me an anti-patriot… and that I hate America as if they stand on the only high ground that true Americans must defend? Where have we gone? Where have we gone when people who have fought in wars, lost friends, been maimed and come down to OWS and are called idiots and bums and just people who expect something for nothing? Tell me, who claims the highest ground, Tim? This country stopped being the country Jefferson and Adams and Madison and Paine envisioned about 35 years ago. It began a slow insidious slide with the election of Ronald Reagan. Sure it worked ok for a couple of decades, for a small fraction of the people , but for most the so promised tide never rose. And though it has left its designer logo behind, this country is well on the way to just the kind of country Orwell and Huxley warned us about. Where have we gone? This is not the country De Tocqueville wrote about when the most wealthy were maybe 10 times as wealthy as the common yeoman.

No, the most pernicious and destructive movements that have ever threatened to tear this country asunder, other than the ideological revolution of 1800 and the economic and slavery question of the Civil War, have always been when the full hard edged,non-regulated self-interested laissez faire unfettered capitalism has been allowed to amass gross and dangerous amounts of wealth and power. That’s where we are now and those who do not accept this are but fodder for propaganda campaigns that spread this ridiculous notion that regu lation and financial checks and observance to laws already on the books like Glass- Steagle, FDIC and SEC regulations , or protections of social security, medicare and Medicaid etc., are all seen socialists subversion plots.? God what have we become when the ghosts of Joe Mc Carthy still run so rapant in this sick American attitude.

This is not new. It has happened 2 times before and this 3'rd time may bring Rome down again.... and only 230 years into empire. It happened during the Gilded age w/ the Rockerfellers, Morgans, Carnegies and Roschilds and it took strong actions from the first Roosevelt to prevent us from reverting to indentured serfdom then. 40 years later during the Great Depression it happened again when the wealth divide was just about as great as it is now except there was no real middle class then. Then, lucky you n' me and all us boomers. We lived through the most prosperous era ever known to any generation in any time in the entire history of mankind. Why? Because Jefferson's and Adams and Madison's and Paine's and even Hamilton's dream for America finally reached its beautiful and intended zenith where most of the people's pursuits of happiness were met, wealthy, upper classes, and the heart and ballast of it all, the middle class... all the governed electorate had access to better their lives and better their lots.

That’s almost all gone away and it’s not all the fault of a few Oliligarchs…. Probably only 0.01% of the total population, but they sure share a massive responsibility for all the financial crimes they have committed an for their orchestrated attempts to merge their narrow interests with the 3 branches of government. No, Hamilton and Adam Smith surely did not intend for this. Tim, I dearly love this country as my dad did. He served w/ the idea that we should long endure and that those who did sacrifice should not have left the last full measure of their devotion on the battlefield uncertain as to whether this nation could long endure. I’ll tell you what, I never served in a war. I was lucky to have missed Viet Nam and I lived down in the “Green World” for 13 years in Grand Turk. I feel this is my time to serve my country and I feel this movement, if it can strain out revolution and anarchy from its message and becomes truly democratic , is the last best hope we have of making sure this nation long endures. I feel Lincoln and Jefferson and Adams and my dad and many others feel the same. And another thing, whoever sits this out, I will not call anti-patriots, but will feel they have sadly misread the history of their own times and fallen prey to the influences of the very worst of our angels. Please don’t let this man in the above clip represent what you think OWS is all about.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Flat Growth and Other Dark Portents The Gipper Left Us

So, get used to it.... The New , New thing is here to stay and it's called flat economic growth!!! Maybe even-heresy of treasonous heresies- decline, reset, and re-stabilization and then, horror of horrors, a meditative retrograde backslide for a few decades maybe… And it's a good thing too; and high time for all us mega gluttons (relative to world per capita) in the West. Sure Manifest Destiny was a good thing for about 100 years when the nation was young and full of that rootin tootin cowboy spirit- although it wiped out the true indigens of the Americas-but we won't get into that right now. And flat growth, even if we can achieve it, may still only mean a delay in rapid descent climate change maelstroms.

Ok, who we gonna blame? All of us really, but if we had to look to just one tiny figurehead atop the most massive economic colossus the world ever saw, it would have to be Ronald Reagan. Sorry Gipper.

Reaganomics DID accomplished all its aims of growth at all costs. And perhaps the Gip actually thought and hoped that trickle down would fortify the middle class. Sadly , naively, he was wrong. Grossly, tragically, dangerously wrong. Example: The Kochs are worth 50 billion dollars- most of it gained over the last 3 years! Koch Industries have lost employees over the same last 3 years, and wages and benefits stagnated or ended. Meanwhile millions of dollars per lost employee have gone into their coffers. Are you getting this? Two men's combined wealth is worth more than the complete worth of 25 entire nations and they let some of their employees go? And they cut some of the others benefits? Wait, wait.... you just have to stop here and resist the ADD a sec....
50 billion is 50 thousand million dollars..... and what can this humongous Leviathan of lucre buy? It's surely not buying any widgets. It's not buying any durables. It is going to continue to buy some hyped up hypodermic oil needles, yes, but what is the main object? What is it buying with a whole lot left over after the buyout? It's buying the entire f#^$#@g Democracy and making it over in its own kinder gentler designer image. That's what it's buying, folks! Now, tell me you are not still holding your breath after grasping that. Where have all boats been raised in this dark tide? The Gip, sadly,just did not see that off shore labor and globalization, and of course, the raison d’etre of “ the bottom line at all cost” ethic, would leave all the trickle down theorists w/ egg all over their Armani suits. It all trickled down off shore… and that’s not such a bad thing either, cept that as the teeming throngs all across the 3’rd world come into their own “middle class” hugely increasing budgets of coal and oil will be needed to support their long awaited standard of living boom.

THE BIG LIE IN THE LAST 35 YEARS HAS BEEN THE MASSIVE OBFUSCATION PROPAGANDA SMEAR THAT THE BOEHNERS AND NEWTS,CANTORS AND RYANS, WALKERS, AND ALL THE WELL ENTRENCHED RANDIAN PLANTS FROM THE KLEPTOCRATS AND WHAT THEY HAVE PERPETRATED BRANDING ALL SOCIAL PROGRAMS AND LEFT POLITICS AS UN- PATRIOTIC “SOCIALISM” MOVEMENTS.. and that we are becoming a social welfare state. The diametric opposite is much closer to the truth and no further ideological sentiment needs to be asserted to explain this reality other than hard and fast numbers of the massive accumulations of wealth, especially since 2000, at the very top end of the strata, and the deconstruction of the middle class, the slide into poverty of millions, the loss of jobs and benefits and millions uninsured and dying earlier because of it. Reagan was not really a keen enough student of history or economics-or even end days movies…though his oratory did slip the surly bonds sometimes, sadly as it all turns out, we all lost real big one for the Gipper.... but he did make us all feel good and did make us all believe it was truly "morning in America." It was twilight w/ one last star burst incendiary to go; one last massive pyrotechnic molotov made of oil...
He and the Randians of Milton Friedman and Al Greenspanners et all above, fired up the greatest hyper burn, solid rocket booster, final ascent economic laffer curving flame out the world will ever know....

Yes , these are the last gloaming days of the glazy eyed rush full bore consumerism, and we were all alive for this.... The kids alive today, those who make the Bering crossing the other way, they will be the ones to "remember the old world." They will be the oral keepers of the grail of the “Times Before” the last days when abject personal deficit spending and abject fossil fuel burning, churning fossil funk finally played out in one last mega bubble of funny money blown all away in the great epoch of the MEGA HURRICANES that began just before the end of the Mayan calendar.

History buffs of the blade runner future will call it the housing bust that was heard around the world just before the great droughts, the massive incursions of sea water, the great cyclonic CAT 6 tempests surged inland claiming millions of lives in a day; then pandemic die offs- the great sapienacide where billions perished. It will be called the real paradigm shift, the real New, New Thing… Like the Trinity sight in New Mexico in 1945 and Robert Oppenheimer’s famous quoting from the Bahavagita, “I am death become destroyer of worlds”……… just change the pronoun to “we.”

Ok, alright….. alright, it’s too much… it’s too much .. It’s too much horror to bear in the mind… just don’t think about it then. Things are still relatively comfy and from this level of comfort, we just can’t handle the truth. When though, please beseech us oh minions of the nimbus mists, who will sayeth unto us to stay our own hand the sacrifice of our mother? Tell me, if it’s not the Archangel Gabriel, then it will be all our darkest angels that will not stay our own office in extremis? We sure are headed that way now, real fast.

Perhaps some inborn Pentecost we are nigh upon…. Who knows? Is it written in the books? Are we looking too deeply into the past for all the ancient signs, symbols and runes for our demise? Were the Mayans on top of CO2 emissions? Perhaps the recent history in the numbers is all we should focus on now. If we just let the numbers speak their wordless wisdoms then we might begin to see that there are limits to what the earth can provide; we might begin to see that our divined dominion over all that we survey, over the animals in the forests, the fishes of the sea, and all that other schlock that tumbled like golden calves out of Reagan’s mouth, were all words about the falling dusk and not the bright morning… If not us, if not now, where will deliverance come?

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Climate change is no longer a threat. Threats imply a future consequence; they suggest events coming. Forget that. Climate change is a NOW reality. It's upon us 100 years ahead of schedule by some measures. The so called "debate” as to cause lingers in propaganda mills because it has been rigged and protracted by those who stand to gain the most by pretending there is no such thing as human caused global warming. These are press mills of journalistic pulp only. These people operate only in frames of next quarter’s profits. They are blinded by a finite ignorance born of abject greed. They can be forgiven their sins for “they know not what they do”, but they must be relegated to the radical self-interest fringe now for the sake of the planet.

The debate is now over. OVER! The only debate, now must be about the most efficient actions to take to mitigate damages to the planet -and to ourselves. It is no longer "our grandchildren's futures" we need to protect. It is our own. The planet we now inhabit is not the same one we boomers grew up in. That planet is irretrievably lost. What the F!@# happened to “EARTH DAY” in 1970? Massive adaptive changes are already occurring in the natural world. For species who can not adapt that fast, extinctions are occurring at rates only seen during past natural world epochs like asteroid strikes. FUTURE SHOCK IS NOW,FOLKS! For the first time in “civilized history” there is no ice blocking the northwest passage from North America to Asia- and ships now travel those shipping lanes for the first time in human history. Does anyone get this?

CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere were last at these levels (390 parts per million) 20 million years ago when mega volcanoes all over the world spewed cubic miles of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. We may be past the point of no return where feedback loops have already been tripped. Methane (natural gas) fields long covered by ice may now begin to release into the atmosphere on their own. Billions, maybe trillions of tons of carbon locked into the permafrost and bogs of the boreal forest rimming the northern hemisphere of the earth may now thaw and evaporate still more greenhouse gasses. This is not the future, this is NOW! The incremental changes only scientist notice now will soon take the form of catastrophic weather events noticed and felt by ALL! Woops, error, I keep thinking in terms of the future too. It's already happening now with increased frequency. In Vermont, post Irene, it's already "Apres Le Deluge." Remember Katrina, and Andrew and Ike? Future ones will cause biblical floods and famines, mass migrations and pandemic plagues, killing not thousands but billions of people. Will it take a “Breaking News Event” on CNN titled “Noah’s Revenge” for us to see? THIS FUTURE SHOCK NOW!

There is a long, long history of science denying. Newton, Galileo, Copernicus, Darwin just to name a few. Denying the science in these cases influenced sociological, religious and educational matters. But denying this present science and continuing full steam ahead with the status quo based on economic interests only, affects questions of profound consequence- It affects the fundamental questions of human survival- at least as we have known it since the dawn of Civilization.

Anyone remember Irene? Such a sweet,n’ petite lil southern belle she was... all gingham n' laced and bonneted- comin out to her debutante ball- prancin’ and dancin’ a genteel minuet before all dem high class gentry come out to see her from their beach houses on the board walks of the East Coast. Well, goodnight Irene you sweet lil thing, yooo. Y’all come back reel sooon. Barely a category 1 hurricane with winds topped out at 100mph along the coast. Very soon it’s going to be HURRICANE GULLIVER. Can anyone imagine a category 5 with winds exceeding 200mph w/huge berms of storm surge water driven out ahead in tsunamic proportions with the eye tracking only 75 miles further west than did lovely, sweet, dulcet toned Irene? Imagine it. It’s coming real soon to the east coast to a temperate climate near you. Try to imagine 60 million people along the east coast hit w/ a CAT 5 hurricane , where- forget the wind and waves and storm surge- where 5 feet of rains fall from the monster when it releases its biblical deluge? Don’t think back to Noah. Don’t think about “our grandkids.” Think Now. Think next summer or, better yet, turn on the weather channel right NOW!

This is FUTURE SHOCK IS NOW! Something must be done in earnest if our leaders will not follow through with International accords they vow to stand by in stirring oratory at these "summit talks." A more apt name might be " Plummet Talks." We are all to blame. Each of us should have a consumption meter on our own foreheads . All of us alive today in the Western World were born and baptized into a fossil fuel world. This is our “ original sin.” Virtually all of our prosperity and wealth, population explosion and food production, massive economic progress and military prowess- all- is totally underwritten by fossil fuels. As fish are born in water and do not know it, we were born in oil and so, like fish, do not notice the oil we swim in. It is not the bad guys "over there" we must flush out either It is not even the politicians. They were all born and baptized by oil too! Like the fish, they just don’t get it. We are all in this oil slick together. For the sake of our survival, we have to start “thinking,” we have to start "seeing" and we have to start acting in order to save our own lives. If we don’t start now then, sadly, there may not be any grandchildren for us to even worry about.